May 1, 2012 Subject:
The study of an artist...
After a bit of a painful prologue of what the "negro artist" does when they are not pursuing their craft (they work!) we get down to the excellent footage of such artists as Richmond Berthe, Aaron Douglas and James Latimer Allen doing what they do best, and the art work here really is quite stunning. Was really impressed by Berhe's work the most. Interesting film made I guess, in the 40's, with careful care utilizaed for the title cards (I do like the fade ins of them)
Reviewer:Wilford B. Wolf
June 28, 2009 Subject:
An important film for those interested in art history and African American history, this silent film from the early 1930s (c. 1932?) covers some important visual artists during the Harlem Renaissance. It starts with an appropriately arty montage of many African American artists made their living during the day, mostly working blue collar jobs, while working on their art in their off hours.
Then we see a series of artists at work: Richmond Barthe, noted sculptor (in particular, large outdoor work); James Latimer Allen, noted portrait photographer (known particularly for documenting the Harlem Renaissance); Aaron Douglas, one the major painters of the era; Palmer Hayden, another prolific painter; and Augusta Savage, the leading female sculptor of the movement. While this film doesn't tell much about them, we them in their studios and examples of their work. Harlem Renaissance was one of the transformative times of American art history, and this film serves as an important document of that time.